Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

MLS notes: Zimmerman spurns Europe, Vazquez sold, DC youngster in remission

Leave a comment

Let’s sweep up some good, somewhat-expected, and wonderful news from around Major League Soccer.

DC United defender and Maryland product Chris Odoi-Atsem announced that he is in remission after a fight with Stage Two Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

[ MORE: Atlanta signs Watford teen ]

Odoi-Atsem was expected to undergo four months of chemotherapy, and the announcement comes just under three months into the journey.

At 23, Odoi-Atsem hopes to rejoin the team after his final round of chemo later this month. He was the 12th overall draft pick in 2017.

Another defender is extending his stay in Los Angeles.

USMNT center back Walker Zimmerman was a huge part of LAFC’s success as an expansion club following his arrival from FC Dallas, and was reportedly ready to test the waters of European soccer with interest from the Premier League, Ligue 1, and the Bundesliga.

But Bob Bradley pushed the right buttons and LAFC will have its 25-year-old mainstay back in the fold via a Targeted Allocation Money contract running through the 2022 season.

Finally, one of the key pieces to Toronto FC’s 2017 MLS Cup triumph is on his way out of Ontario.

Victor Vazquez is going to be sold to an unnamed Qatari club, pending a physical according to TSN’s Kristian Jack.

The 32-year-old scored posted 18 goals and 15 primary assists for TFC.

Rooney explains arrest in Washington

Getty Images
2 Comments

News broke over the weekend that Wayne Rooney was arrested for public intoxication and swearing in Washington D.C. in December, and representatives of the D.C. United star have released a statement explaining the incident.

Rooney, 33, was arrested and detained at Washington Dulles airport and charged after agreeing to pay a $25 fine and $91 for charges, as he paid those fees on Jan. 4, 2019.

Explaining what happened in the incident, Rooney’s representatives put his behavior down to a ‘prescribed amount of sleeping tablets’ mixed with ‘some alcohol consumption’ on a long-haul flight from Saudi Arabia for a promotional business trip.

Below is the statement from Rooney’s representatives in full:

“Wayne Rooney was arrested and detained at Dulles airport following a long flight from Saudi Arabia after a one-day promotional business trip. During the flight Wayne took a prescribed amount of sleeping tablets mixed with some alcohol consumption and consequently was disorientated on arrival. He was approached by police who arrested him on a minor misdemeanour charge. He received a statutory automatic fine and was released shortly afterwards at the airport. The matter is now at an end. Wayne would like to put on record his appreciation for the manner he was treated by all involved. No further comment will be made.”

D.C. United have also released a statement on Rooney’s arrest: “We are aware of news reports indicating that Wayne Rooney was arrested in December. We understand the media’s interest in this matter but we believe this is a private matter for Wayne that DC United will handle internally. We have no further comment on this situation.”

Rooney admitted a drink-driving charge in September 2017 when he was driving a woman’s car almost three times the legal limit in England. He was subsequently banned from driving for two years and told to carry out community service.

Since he arrived in D.C. in July 2018 he has been a revelation with the MLS franchise battling up from bottom spot in the Eastern Conference to the playoffs. Rooney’s goals, assists and general play were a huge part of Ben Olsen’s men being the form team in MLS in the second half of the season.

However, this kind of situation could well damage his reputation despite the explanation given by his representatives.

Report: Rooney arrested for public intoxication, swearing; Pays fine

Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images
2 Comments

DC United striker Wayne Rooney was arrested in Virginia in mid-December, reports DC-area reporter Erin Hawksworth.

WJLA.com says Rooney was released soon after the Dec. 17 incident and paid a $25 fine on Thursday.

Where ever did he get that kind of money?!?

[ REPORT: Mourinho turns down job ]

Few details have been made available regarding the incident.

Rooney scored 12 goals and added six assists in 21 matches with the Black-and-Red in 2018, his first season in Major League Soccer.

MLS Best XI unveiled with awesome foosball video

@MLS
Leave a comment

Major League Soccer, wow, this is terrific #content.

MLS released its Best XI on Monday with a dynamite video of the players passing the ball from Zack Steffen in goal to Josef Martinez up top… via a virtual foosball table.

[ VIDEO: An unprecedented goal ]

The XI is set in a 3-4-3, with the New York Red Bulls, DC United, and Atlanta United leading the way with a pair of players each.

My predictions? Well, I only got six correct. Whoops. The only absence that really surprises me is Graham Zusi, and Sporting KC not having representation at all. I guess that explains why SKC manager Peter Vermes is going to be announced as the next USMNT– Wait, what’s that? Oh. I’ll stop talking.

2018 MLS Best XI

Goalkeeper: Zack Steffen (Columbus)

Defenders: Kemar Lawrence (RBNY), Aaron Long (RBNY), Chad Marshall (Seattle)

Midfielders: Miguel Almiron (Atlanta), Luciano Acosta (DC), Ignacio Piatti (Montreal), Carlos Vela (LAFC)

Forwards: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (LA Galaxy), Josef Martinez (Atlanta), Wayne Rooney (DC)

Columbus beats DC in MLS Cup Playoffs thriller

AP Photo/Nick Wass
1 Comment

Penalty prodigy Zack Steffen stopped two penalty kicks to help lead Columbus past DC United at Audi Field on Thursday in the first round of the MLS Cup Playoffs.

The sides were level 1-1 after 90 minutes, and 2-2 through 120. Columbus scored thrice to DC’s two goals in PKs.

Steffen stopped Wayne Rooney‘s opening attempt of penalty kicks, but Bill Hamid stymied Gyasi Zardes’ third round bid.

Steffen then stopped Luciano Acosta, but the ball bobbled on Patrick Mullins’ chance to win it for the Crew.

So it came down to DeLeon to tie it, and he sent it way over the bar.

[ REPORT: Sterling agrees new deal ]

Federico Higuain bagged a brace for Columbus, while Nick DeLeon and Frederic Brillant scored for the Black and Red.

Columbus/DC moves on to face the New York Red Bulls in the conference semifinals, a rematch of the 2015 Eastern Conference Finals.

[ MORE: Top PL storylines for Week 11 ]

DC hit the scoreboard first thanks to a rare error from Columbus goalkeeper Zack Steffen.

The USMNT No. 1 backstop couldn’t hold onto a rising cross, which spilled out of his hands for Brillant to tap into the goal.

DC’s lead didn’t last long, thanks to 34-year-old Higuain (You thought he was older, didn’t you?)

Like Brillant, the Argentine was in the right place at the right time to take advantage of some rough play from the opposition.

Columbus had a few very good chances to retake the lead.

Justin Meram hit a volley over the goal, and Bill Hamid thwarted Pedro Santos’ ambitious distance effort with a flying save in the 85th.

Wayne Rooney and Luciano Acosta then combined atop the 18, but Steffen made a fine save of his own to force extra time.

It didn’t take long for the visitors to get their first lead of the night, with Higuain heading a pinpoint cross from Afful inside the far post.

Yet that wasn’t it!

A foul far from goal saw Rooney presiding over a deep free kick. He sent it to the back post, it was headed to the top of the 18 by Gyasi Zardes, and De Leon punched it through traffic and inside the near post with a dynamic shot.